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Linguistics Fridays Colloquium – Huynh
November 8, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
The Role of Language Dominance in Morphological Decomposition of Vietnamese and English Compounds
University of Wisconsin-Madison
This talk discusses whether there are any differences between the grammatical processing of the first language (L1) and the second language (L2) based on the relative dominance between these two languages. Two groups of bilingual Vietnamese-English speakers are compared — (1) heritage language (HL) speakers, who acquired their HL Vietnamese as an L1 but later become dominant in their L2 English; and (2) L1 Vietnamese-dominant speakers, who acquired their L2 English at a later age. In order to investigate the grammatical processing of these two groups, morphological decomposition of L1 Vietnamese and L2 English compound words into their respective individual constituents and if this decomposition was influenced by the semantic transparency of the constituents were examined. Findings suggest that both speaker groups seem to decompose compounds into their individual constituents regardless of the semantic transparency of the compound words. It may be the case that both groups have similar patterns of morphological decomposition since there is a shared L1.